Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Start to My 2011 Women's Journaling Alpine Retreat

September 10th began with an early rising for me. Up at 4am to finalize packing in the car and head out on my eight-hour trek from Southern Oregon to reach my beautiful Lake Alpine Resort destination. As I neared Angels Camp, California, the excitement amplified. I began receiving phone calls from our Culinary Coordinator, Izzy, and my tandem teacher, Jean Warren, all of whom were en route too.

It was a brisk, autumn day when I pulled into the bustling resort parking lot. I remembered the resort owner, Gigi, had spoken of a wedding taking place that very afternoon and that celebration added joy and frivolity to the scene. Izzy had already arrived and was unpacking all our fresh, lush food into the kitchen. Shortly, Jean and Kitty, one of our retreat participants, arrived, anxious to get settled. Once landed in our places, thoughts of a warm meal began to tease us. Down in the restaurant, the wedding reception was just concluding and the happy bride greeted us at our table near the cozy fireplace, to offer us all champagne. “Why, of course, we’ll join in your celebration!” we all chimed in! Dinner was just what we wanted and conversation lively, as we got to know each other.

Open here, in the cabin for us all to relish (notice the colorful fruit Izzy had provided for us all) and learn from, is one of the special treats I’d brought along, the amazing journal of Elinor Peace Bailey. I’d stumbled upon this woman when taking a writing class and an image of her with her dolls was one of the writing ”prompts”. With Elinor Peace Bailey’s complete trust, she mailed me her journal to pursue and I’d requested bringing it to this retreat. Our evening was spentsavoring her pages and the creativity present in all of us, just waiting to be unleashed.

With dreams of vivid journal pages dancing in our heads . . . we all nestled into our warm beds for slumber.

1 comment:

Katherine Thomas said...

You're a good writer as well as an artist. I'm enjoying reading the story as the events unfold. It sounds like a wonderful experience! The paintings are great!